Michele De Lucchi has always held lectures, trying to pique the public’s curiosity with anecdotes about his clients and stories from his long career. During the course of these conferences, the audience begins to realize that the clients he was talking about are not so much the traditional ones – Presidents, famous industrialists or big-wheel investors – as the themes, values and ideals of the contemporary world, symbolic interlocutors that are the architect’s everyday lodestars. This book finally sheds light on the “wonderful and horrible” unseen protagonists of De Lucchi’s work, and it does so in an unusual way: according to Domitilla Dardi, the author of the remarks at the end of the volume, this is a bona fide biography that unfolds in a series of selected images, mainly in chronological order. It runs from De Lucchi’s youthful forays into radical architecture, to his experiences in the world of Milanese design in the 1980s, to the successes of his own professional studio, focusing in equal measure on architectural, museum set-up and design projects. Along with well-known images of his work, the book also reveals more intimate aspects, like preliminary models he sculpted with a chainsaw in his private studio, drawings done using pencils sharpened with a penknife, and Produzione Privata lamps. The literary genre this book falls into – perhaps unintentionally – is that of the novella, short in format but packed with highly personal, and often funny anecdotes, bon mots and witticisms.
Michele De Lucchi (Ferrara 1951) si è formato nel clima dell’architettura radicale fiorentina a cavallo fra gli anni Sessanta e Settanta. Stabilitosi in seguito a Milano ha aderito al gruppo Memphis fondato da Ettore Sottsass jr. e allo Studio Alchimia. Ha progettato oggetti celeberrimi come la lampada Tolomeo, ambienti di lavoro e corporate identity per Deutsche Bank, Poste Italiane, Ferrovie dello Stato, Enel, Piaggio, Olivetti, Telecom Italia, Novartis, Intesa Sanpaolo, UniCredit. Ha realizzato progetti architettonici in Italia e all’estero, tra cui edifici residenziali, industriali, direzionali e culturali. Ha curato allestimenti espositivi per musei come la Triennale di Milano, il Palazzo delle Esposizioni di Roma, il Neues Museum di Berlino, Gallerie d’Italia Piazza Scala, il Castello Sforzesco e il Museo della Pietà Rondanini a Milano. Fra le sue pubblicazioni ricordiamo 12 racconti con casette (2005) e Gli attributi dell’architetto (2014), entrambi per Corraini.